Charles Morris in his The Aryan Race has this to say on the matter:
"In the early state of all the Aryan branches the family was organised under conditions of considerable similarity,-conditions doubtless inherited from ancient Arya. Each family, indeed, constituted a despotism on a small scale. The house-father was the head of the domestic group, and represented it in the community. Within the house precincts he possessed the governing power, and the right-if we may judge from the Roman example-to banish any member of his household, to sell his sons or daughters into slavery, to command them to marry whom he would, to seize on all their possessions, and to kill them at his will.
"It may be said, however, that some recent writers question the general absolutism of the Aryan house-father. It is certain, at all events, that his house was his castle. No one had the right to enter it without his permission, not even an officer of the law. It was his private kingdom, and for the acts of the members of the household he alone stood responsible to the community. The idea of personal individuality had not yet clearly arisen. The household was the primitive Aryan individual.
"In Greece the same conditions prevailed.
"In the Hindu family of today this inviolate character of the household is strictly maintained. A mystery overlies all its operations,-a remarkable secrecy, which is maintained in the humblest households, and is probably a survival of a very ancient system of family isolation.
With the Celts and the early Greeks there existed the right to expose or sell their children. This had become absolute among the Teutons, though the right was recognised in case of necessity. With the Russians the power of the house-father, says Mr. Dixon, is without any check. He arranges the marriage of his son, makes the son`s wife a servant, and stands above all law in his house. His cabin is not only a castle but a church, and every act of his done within that cabin is supposed to be not only private but divine."
Over one point alone the authority of the house-father was not absolute. He could do what he would with the movable property of the household and the labour of its inmates, but he could not sell or encumber the landed property. This was not individual, but corporate wealth. It belonged to the family as a whole, and was held inviolable. This was the law in all Aryan regions, from India to Ireland, with the possible exception of Rome, whose ancient laws relating to such matters are lost."